Gangtok, Jan 9 (IPR)
District-wise Advocacy cum Training of Panchayati Raj Institution and Health Personnel on Substance Abuse Disorder, Sikkim Anti-Drug Act & Tuberculosis commenced from the East District today at the training hall of Multispecialty Hospital, Sochyagang, Gangtok.
The training programme is an endeavor of the Health Care, Human Service & Family Welfare Department, Govt of Sikkim.
The inaugural session was chaired by Zilla Adhyaksha East Shri S.S. Bokhim, and had the presence of Zilla Upadyaksha East, Commissioner cum Secretary, Health, Shri Vishal Chauhan and other Officials, Doctors, Panchayats and Police personnel.
Chief guest S.S. Bokhim in his address said that the training programme is a positive initiative towards realizing the vision of the Government to make Sikkim a Tuberculosis-free State by 2022, and to bring awareness about drug abuse. He said that it is possible to prevent drug addiction through adequate education and community participation. He added that various factors can contribute to drug abuse like insecurity, desire for social acceptance which in turn leads to dangerous risk such as substance abuse.
Zilla Upadyaksha in her address said that adequate awareness on Tuberculosis is necessary for general public as one needs to know the basic information, reducing the stigma still associated with tuberculosis. She added that a sum of 3000/- is being given to tuberculosis patient for healthy nutritious food. She stated that government is taking various steps for awareness programmes for both drug abuse and Tuberculosis prevention as doctor and other health care workers who provide care for TB must follow infection control procedure to ensure that Tuberculosis infection is not passed from one person to another and our State should have infection control guidance which clearly needs to take into account local facilities and resources as well as number of people being provided with care. She further highlighted the role of panchayats to make society drug and tuberculosis free and declared that any GPU who makes their area tuberculosis and drug free will be given cash prize of ten thousand from her own side and she urged everybody to make this as a priority.
Shri Vishal Chauhan, Commissioner cum Secretary, Health, said that the main objective of this programme is to aware people about drug abuse and the initiatives taken for its treatment. He stressed that drug addiction is an illness and proper care and treatment is necessary to help a patient come out of addiction. He added that along with proper counselling and treatment, community and family and have a huge role in bringing a person out of addiction. He stressed on the role of the panchayats in this area.
The programme also witnessed a very productive session about drug abuse which was highlighted by Dr. Satish Rasaily , Addiction Psychiarist, District Hospital Singtam. He presented his booster dose through a presentation about usage and consequences of drugs. He said that ecstasy can cause liver and heart failure adding that high chronic use of drug can cause psychotic behaviour. He stated that chronic use of inhalants can harm heart, lungs, liver and kidney. He further stated that abuse of prescription over the counter medicine can cause respiratory distress and seizures. He called for active participation of NGOs, Rehab centers for harm reduction treatment.
Later Dr. Tekendra K. Rai, Programme Officer, SADA, briefed about role about PRIs, community and health Department and shared a strategy to tackle substance abuse. He also facilitated an interactive session with the participants. “Cooperation and coordination should be the mantra”, he emphasized.
Representative from Police department, Ms Chomu Lachungpa, SIA Ranipool, discussed about the challenges faced by the police officials and requested health department, panchayats and community members to cooperate with the police to mitigate drug abuse and drug peddling in the State.
Lastly Dr Shanti Mishra, East district TB Officer briefed about the prevention, causes and control of tuberculosis. She shared that Sikkim has a total of 1244 TB cases as per the latest figures.
The programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Dr Satish Rasaily, Addiction Pzychiatrist, District Hospital, Singtam.